Spain, Diocese of Ávila, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Spain, Diocese of Ávila, Catholic Church Records, 1502-1975 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Ávila, Spain
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Location of Ávila, Spain
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Record Description
Record Type: Catholic Church Records
Collection years: 1502-1975
Languages: Spanish Galician
Title in the Languages: España, Diócesis Católica de Ávila, Registros Parroquiales
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Archivos Diocesanos de Ávila


What is in the Collection?

This collection of Catholic Church records of baptisms, marriages, and deaths from the Diocese of Avila, Spain, covers the years from 1502-1975. This collection includes an index of records of several parishes in the diocese.

Some of the parish records from Avila have been preserved well, but others have some damage. Usually separate registers were maintained for baptisms, marriages, and deaths. However, in localities with a small population the records of baptisms, marriages, and burials were recorded in the same register and are separated from other registers by years. Confirmations were usually recorded with the baptismal registers, but can also be found with deaths and marriages. Generally, entries were created in chronological order.

Parish priests performed the baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials, and other holy sacraments in their assigned parish or parishes. All the original parish records were kept in the parish archive; however, the older records were centralized in the diocesan archive, as it is done currently. Catholic parish records cover 95 to 100% of a city’s population. This collection only includes the parish records that were centralized into the diocesan archive.

The records are written in Spanish and Latin; see the section "For Help Reading These Records" for links to translation help guides.

Additional indexed data will be added as they become available.

Collection Contents

The information in each record may vary by year.


Baptism records may include the following information:

  • Date and place of baptism, including name of church
  • Name and gender
  • Legitimacy to parents (whether biological or adopted)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Father's name and birthplace
  • Mother's maiden name and birthplace
  • Names of paternal grandparents and their birthplace
  • Names of maternal grandparents and their birthplace
  • Names of witnesses

Marriage records usually include the following:

  • Date and place of marriage, including parish and priest's name
  • Groom's name and age
  • Groom's occupation
  • Names of groom's parents
  • Bride's name and age
  • Bride's birthplace
  • Names of bride's parents
  • Names of witnesses

Burial records usually include:

  • Date, time, and place of death
  • Name, gender, and age of deceased (keep in mind that the records of women may be filed under their married name)
  • Place of birth
  • Marital status and residence
  • Cause of death
  • Spouse's name if married
  • Sometimes, will mention deceased parents
  • Testament information (testaments include the names of the children)
  • Names of witnesses
  • Date and place of burial

How Do I Search the Collection?

Some record sets have indexes; these indexes were created at the end of the year. Copy errors, altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors (if the information was scanned) could have been made in the index, so you want to find the actual record to verify the information is correct.

Using the index is a quick and helpful way to find the actual record.

See the sections below for tips and uses for searching and finding the record of your ancestor in this collection and using the information in the record.

If you are unable to find a record for your ancestor in this collection, see the corresponding section below.

Search the Collection

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection, you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "City or Town" category
⇒Select the "Parish" category
⇒Select the "Record Type and Years" category which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by image, comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

When searching:
As you are searching, it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor's given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence, age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

For Help Reading These Records

These records are in Spanish or Latin. For help reading the records, see the following wiki articles:

What Do I Do Next?

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find each of the couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate civil records Spain Civil Registration - Vital Records.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of a marriage officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the province. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other provinces.
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Use the marital status (whether a divorce or death dissolved a marriage) to identify previous marriages.
  • Witnesses often were relatives of the parents.

I Found Who I was Looking for, Now What?

When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Regarding marriage and death records, name changes, shortened names, or nicknames may have been used by your ancestors, so pay attention to other relationships (parents, spouse, siblings, children, etc.) that can confirm whether you have the right person/record.

Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.

Continue to search the indexes and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have lived in the same area or a nearby area.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, Now What?

If you can't find your ancestor in this collection, perhaps your ancestor moved, so the records of your ancestor are in a nearby province. Search the records of nearby provinces.

Maybe your ancestor immigrated to another country. Search immigration/emigration records Spain Emigration and Immigration.

Civil registration records (birth, marriage, and death records) are also a good substitute for when a church record cannot be found Spain Civil Registration - Vital Records.

Citing This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.  

Collection Citation:

"Spain, Diocese of Avila, Catholic Church Records, 1502-1975."Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Diocesan Archives, Ávila, Spain.


Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Spain, Diocese of Ávila, Catholic Church Records, 1502-1975.
Image Citation:
The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Spain, Diocese of Ávila, Catholic Church Records, 1502-1975.


How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.